Chapel, Godly Play, and Religious Studies
Chapel provides an opportunity to inspire students to think how they can lead lives with meaning, purpose, faith and integrity. Our students learn through practice and guidance, compassion and humility, to make the world a better place.
First through eighth grade students participate in a form of chapel each school day. We worship together on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, thus beginning and ending the week gathered as a community. On those days, we also celebrate birthday blessings in chapel. On Wednesday, we celebrate Eucharist with communion for those who receive and a blessing for those who do not. We invite parents to join us for chapel at any time. It's a wonderful experience to see and hear the students worshiping together.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, separate chapels are designed by division (Lower School and Middle School) enable us to design experiences more suited to the children’s different ages and maturity levels. Lower School students gather in the church first thing in the morning, allowing us to prepare a chapel program specific to their needs. On one of those days, Middle School students have their own chapel service; on the other, they gather in their advisories to follow a curriculum tied to topics from the week's chapel program.
This chapel format allows us to create a more meaningful learning experience for all ages, while helping us more fully strengthen the character and enrich the spirit of each student in a Christian environment, as charged by our mission.
Early Childhood Chapel
Kindergarten and Pre-k students participate in their own chapel in the afternoons from 2:15 to 2:35. Kindergarten attends four afternoons a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and Pre-k joins in on two afternoons (Monday and Friday) for a special time that's a little shorter. In conjunction with our once weekly Godly Play class and school-wide Chapel Applied curriculum, this new Early Childhood Chapel will benefit our students’ growth in mind, body, and spirit, and will greatly enhance the sense of welcome and inclusion they feel at St. John’s
Each child, third grade and older, has an opportunity to be the Crucifer, and as students move through Middle School other leadership roles arise: serving as acolytes, reading the daily lessons and leading the prayers at the Friday Eucharist. Students may also sing in the choir.
Our Middle School faculty works with the rector and chaplain to encourage the students' creative involvement in chapel, with students participating in chapel skits, an annual Passion play during Holy Week and the end-of-year Sheepfold chapel service, a traditional ceremony wishing eighth graders farewell.
Pre-k and kindergarten students receive weekly Godly Play instruction. Godly Play is a creative method of teaching young children the art of religious language and developing in them an awareness of God's presence.